Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread

It’s not too early for a pumpkin recipe. It’s almost the fall, right?

Even if we weren’t closing in on the fall, pumpkin knows no seasons for me.

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

I did most of the baking for Cooking with Pumpkin in the spring and summer. Nothing like the scent of pumpkin wafting through the house for Easter, Mother’s Day, and the Fourth of July. It’s only fitting I made this bread on a warm summer day.

Ever since I made the Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread I wanted to try it with pumpkin. I adapted the recipe by swapping pumpkin puree for bananas, added warming spices, and it worked beautifully.

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

The bread is soft, moist, springy, dense yet still fluffy, and it’s nicely spiced. Like all my pumpkin, carrot, and sweet potato desserts, using enough spices to ensure the final result is full-flavored and satisfying is key.

The cream cheese layer that runs through the bread is like having a layer of cheesecake baked into pumpkin bread. It really makes the bread out of this world good.

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes. I used melted coconut oil so there’s no butter to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter, and I prefer the taste. Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute with them if you’d like.

I love baking with coconut oil for muffinscakesbreadcookies and more. I used Nutiva Coconut Oil from iHerb.com. Code AVE630 at checkout saves you $10 off your order. I love iHerb for everything like probioticsbulk cinnamonpumpkin pie spiceliquid vanilla stevia dropsbulk white stevia powdermedicinal fancy-grade honeychia seedsface cleansernutritional yeast, and mini chocolate chips.

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

A little sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf. Using sour creamGreek yogurt, or buttermilk in quickbread and muffin recipes ensures more tender results.

Anything baked with pumpkin has the natural advantage of being moister because of how moist pumpkin is.

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

Between the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, tangy cream cheese, and the moist, soft bread with rich pumpkin flavor, this is my idea of comfort food.

It’s never too early to get started with that first pumpkin recipe of the season.

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

Print Recipe

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread

I adapted my Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread recipe by swapping pumpkin puree for bananas, added warming spices, and it worked beautifully. The bread is soft, moist, springy, dense yet still fluffy, and it’s nicely spiced. The cream cheese layer that runs through the bread is like having a layer of cheesecake baked into pumpkin bread.Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) ensures a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf and anything baked with pumpkin has the natural advantage of being moister. Between the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, tangy cream cheese, and the moist, soft bread with rich pumpkin flavor, it's perfect comfort food.

Yield: one 9x5-inch loaf, about 10 slices

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 48 minutes

Total Time: about 75 minutes, for cooling

Ingredients:

Bread
1 large egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to tast

Cream Cheese Filling
1 large egg
4 ounces softened brick-style cream cheese (lite is okay)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9x5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. Bread - In a large bowl, add the the first ten ingredients, through ground nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don't overmix; set aside.
  4. Turn about two-thirds of the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary; set aside.
  5. Cream Cheese Filling - In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk to combine. Alternatively, mix with a hand mixer.
  6. Evenly pour filling mixture over the bread, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary.
  7. Top filling with remaining pumpkin batter, smoothing the top very lightly with a spatula as to not disturb cream cheese layer and pushing batter into corners and sides as necessary.
  8. Bake for about 48 minutes or until the top is domed, golden, and the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Note this is tricky because the cream cheese never gets totally solid so the toothpick test isn't the most accurate. Tip - Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped over it at the 35 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of pumpkin, cream cheese, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
  9. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Optionally, serve with Honey ButterCinnamon-Sugar Butter, or Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread

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Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread – Banana bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

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151 comments

  1. I have the tub of Trader Joes Pumpkin Cream Cheese. I know you mention the block and it’s moisture content in comparison to the tub. If I were to just use the cream cheese with the egg and flour (omitting the sugar since it’s already in the cream cheese) do you think it’d be too sweet? I dont wanna mess with a good thing but im nuts about that pumpkin cream cheese. :P

    • I don’t think it would be too sweet but it could be a little on the runny side. Sometimes tub cream cheese (as opposed to brick style) can be really moist. They do that so it’s ‘spreadable’ but for baking, it’s iffy. But you can try it. The worst that will happen is it will sort of run down into the bottom batter layer rather than staying intact…I mean that’s my worst case scenario guess, but I am just guessing. But you may likely be just fine, too! LMK how it goes!

    • Thanks so much! Maybe I’ll add a teeny bit more flour to compensate for the extra moisture?

  2. This recipe looked fabulous, but for whatever reason, it DID NOT turn out fabulous. I followed the instructions exactly, but the cream cheese mixture was too runny so the layer of pumpkin on top was not actually on top, rather distributed throughout the layers together. That would have been ok, but once baked and cooled, it was a mass of solid flour and punpkin. It couldn’t be called bread at all. I have no idea what went wrong, but it did go wrong. Have any ideas?

    • Not sure what kind of cream cheese you use, but they do vary dramatically in moisture content. I use Trader Joe’s and it works well for me but if yours is very runny, then probably you should add more flour to it than I called for.

      Also I’m not sure what happened with the bread itself. I use King Arthur brand all-purpose flour (white/red bag) and it is worth EVERY PENNY compared to other flours. I have a feeling if you re-try this recipe with that flour, and I use Libby’s pumpkin, and try cream cheese that’s different from what you already tried (And don’t use lite, even though I do and am fine, lite is runnier and you don’t need that)…those are my ideas for success.

  3. Made this tonight. Did not turn out :( Was more of a mushy consistency rather than a bread-like consistency. I think less pumpkin puree and/or more flour would be key. Smells great, however.

    • Pumpkin puree can vary dramatically in moisture content from brand to brand, even can to can. Your was probably just on the moist side and a bit more flour likely would have helped the situation. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  4. Wow! This looks amazing! If you don’t mind, I’d like to try and make a gluten/sugar-free version of this. I think I can do it and have it come out pretty decently…I hope. ;)

  5. I was so excited to try this bread. The batter was beyond delicious, however, it did not turn out like bread. I tried cooking it longer thinking that would help but it didn’t. It was very moist, too moist, and the cream cheese part was not what I expected. I want to get this recipe right so I think I’ll add more flour next time.

    • The moisture content of pumpkin can vary widely. Yours was perhaps just on the extra moist side and maybe if you added slightly more flour that would have helped. Same with sour cream/greek yogurt, it can also vary widely in how much moisture it has. I think a bit more flour would have helped. And in terms of the cream cheese part not being what you expected….I don’t know what your expectations were but I wrote about what I thought it tasted like in the post as well as from the pictures, I think people can probably get a pretty good idea. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  6. what do you think about adding some raisins to the Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread batter?

    • I think it would taste great but the only thing is they are heavy and could sink a bit so you may not end up with a pure white line of cream cheese, and no raisins, but as long as you’re okay with that, go for it!

  7. I made this tonight. My bread turned out fine, texture wise, flavor is okay. The cream cheese was just not enough. It was a very thin layer that didn’t make much of an impact. If I made this again I would try to make double of the cream cheese.

  8. I made this tonight, the bread needed an extra egg and an extra 1/2 cup of flour for the consistency of the batter to be right… I doubled the cream cheese filling because it didn’t really cover the batter very well, however I used only 1 egg in the cream cheese filling with 8 oz cream cheese. I baked the bread at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turned the temp down to 350 for the remaining time, that helps to get a nice high dome shape on the bread.

  9. Just had to leave a comment and say that I tried this recipe last night in a hurry while making dinner, it came together great, baked up perfectly and I tried it this morning with a cup of coffee……SO YUMMY! And it turned out just like your picture! A sign of a truly great recipe. :) Thank you for sharing this! I have a whole loaf to enjoy over the next couple days and will for sure be sharing the pumpkin goodness!

    • So glad this came out great for you and I agree, when home bakers, readers, and anyone at all can duplicate the results in their own kitchen, that’s a sign of a good recipe and glad it meets your approval! Thanks for the nice comment & trying the recipe!

  10. Hi there,

    I tried this recipe right from your directions and did not change anything. I found that the dough seemed a little too thick, like it needed some water or something more liquidy to even it out. (However, it turned out fine in shape when it was done.) Something also seemed lacking in taste, but I don’t quite know what it was. I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice so maybe that was the culprit. Anyway, I’d say overall it was pretty good, it just didn’t make as much dough as expected.

    Kaitlin

    • The lack of flavor was most definitely due to not adding pumpkin pie spice! Really crucial to provide flavor and that’s definitely something to make sure to use next time! The dough is very thick but it sounds like it baked up as it should.

  11. Would this work in mini loaf pans? If so how many do you think I could get out of this recipe?

  12. Made this today and it was awesome. Not super sweet even. I doubled the cheese layer because that’s my favorite. So added about 10 minutes to the total cooking time in the end. Oh and I used Neufchatel cheese. Otherwise followed the recipe. A big hit – the kids loved it :)

    • Glad it came out great for you and that you and your kids loved it! And it’s great that you’re making pumpkin recipes even in ‘non pumpkin season’ :) I can relate!

  13. I feel so lame by only cooking regular pumpkin bread and lathering it in butter before eating it! This is an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I made this last night and it is incredible! Even better the second day. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Yes, this bread does get better the 2nd day and I love that you’re baking with pumpkin during ‘non pumpkin season’ (although that doesn’t exist for me either!)

  15. Can i use a glass bread dish to make this? if so, should i adjust the cooking time or temp?

  16. i didnt see your reply cause pinterest kept shutting down but i cooked it in glass bread dish at 325 degrees for 60 minutes with tin foil covering it the last 15 minutes and it turned out perfect. thanks for a great recipe!

  17. Wondering what your pumpkin pie spice has in it? I don’t buy premixed spices…I mix my own.

  18. I was really excited to make this, but the cream cheese mixture was completely liquid for me.  When I put the top 1/3 of the bread batter on, it just sunk into the liquid cream cheese mixture and the cream cheese floated to the top edges. The cream cheese mixture looked fine until I mixed the egg in, then that’s when it turned too liquid. I used regular Philadelphia brand cream cheese, as we don’t have Trader Joe’s where I live.

    • Hmmm that’s odd that it was so runny and thin. I have never had that problem. Did you remember to add the flour? That is definitely necessary or it will be too thin. I would say in the future to add another tablespoon or two of flour over what I recommended if you think that it’s excessively runny. I’ve never had anyone write with this issue and have never experienced it myself so just guessing at a possible solution. Thanks for trying the recipe.

    • Thank you so much for your reply!! I did indeed add the flour. I’m based in the UK- it may be that our cream cheese is slightly different than your USA product!

    • Ahhh, that’s probably the case. Even though it’s Philadelphia brand, it likely has a different consistency and I know European flours can be quite different than ours. I would just add enough flour next time so it’s not too runny and you should be all set!

  19. Where do I find pumpkin purée?

  20. this loaf turned out horrible. there was not enough batter to cover the cream cheese, so quickly had to make more (I halved the recipe). the cream cheese layer was thin and runny. once baked, it had a slimy texture both inside and out. really disappointed. I wish I had read the comments before making it.

    • I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you. Many people have left glowing comments and that it turned out wonderfully for them. Not sure what happened in your case to contribute to the texture and as far as not having enough batter,it’s easy to over-estimate the amount you add to the first layer and then for the second layer they’re running short. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  21. I made this recipe and it turned out great!! I love how moist the bread is. Perfect fall recipe!

  22. Am I the only one that had dsasterous results? Still mushy in the middle, burnt & sunk in on the top…. I had to keep adding 10 minutes till I ended up cooking it for 35 extra minutes (added to the 48) and it’s still uncooked consistentcy in the middle. What happened. I did another pumpkin bread recently that had the same outcome…. Could it be the brand of pumpkin purée I used? I also refuse to use foil (no aluminum) in cooking so, I couldn’t make the tent….

    • I use Libby’s brand pumpkin puree. The foil doesn’t even touch the food. You literally make a tent with it to shield the top from the direct heat of the oven so that the outside doesn’t become burnt like yours did, while giving the interior a longer time to cook.

      Also, are you baking soda and powder brand new and totally fresh? That’s a huge thing that many people overlook. I bake with King Arthur brand All-Purpose flour because it is so superior (IMO) to any other flour and worth the extra couple of bucks. Your baked goods will turn out better, I promise. There’s more gluten which means extra rise and lift, i.e. less sinking.

      Thanks for trying the recipe. Oh and your oven could be running on the cool side. That can cause sinking b/c the internal temp of the food never gets quite hot enough, hence it falls upon cooling.

  23. I made the bread the other night and I had trouble getting the middle to bake thoroughly.

    BUT, it was absolutely delicious so I just made another batch but this time I made muffins! I did everything exactly the same, just baked them less, for about 25 minutes. They look so cute! Thanks for this recipe!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and all ovens are different and maybe a few more minutes would have done the trick? but glad you turned it into muffins! They sound wonderful!

  24. Omg delicious!!! I was thrilled with how fantastic the result was.  It looks so pretty with a ribbon of cream cheese through it and the taste of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon were absolutely delicious.  This recipe requires major major self restraint; I probably could’ve finished off the entire loaf in one sitting :)  Great recipe Averie! 

  25. Second day making this recipe..made it yesterday and the family loved it..doubled the recipe today and the house is smelling wonderful..didn’t add the cream cheese..too sweet for us..
    thank you for the great recipe..it’s a keeper :)

  26. I was a little nervous about making this after reading the large variability of experiences with this recipe, but I decided to go for it because you’ve never steered me wrong! I substituted vegetable oil for coconut oil. I added 1.5 Tablespoons flour extra to the cream cheese so that it wouldn’t be runny like other commenters said. Mine was nice and thick. I added too much of the bread batter first so that after I put the cream cheese in and added the rest of the bread batter, there wasn’t enough to cover the cream cheese. The batter was thinner than the cream cheese so it kind of sunk into it. It looked more like a swirl by the time I smoothed it all down. I was disheartened by then that I’d messed it all up.
    I baked it 45 minutes and used a tent at 35 mins. The bread turned out delicious. Soft and moist. Some of the pieces look a little swirled and some have the nice center streak of cream cheese. Either way, huge hit!

  27. Hey there! About to try this recipe. Was wondering what size can of pumpkin do you use? Or. How much? Becuase I purchased one of the overly large cans of pumpkin puree. Thank you! Looks delicious.

    • In this recipe you definitely don’t use the whole can – of any size – of puree, you just use 1 cup. But I generally purchase 15-ounce cans.

    • So, of course, I’m the one person who reads and re-reads and re-reads AGAIN and recipe and still can’t seem to read it correctly. I kept reading one can instead of one cup. Anyway, I tried this recipe last time and it turned out PERFECT! The whole family loved it and it had a picture perfect pumpkin to cream cheese ratio. Will definitely we making again before the holidays are over!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

      Can, cup, well…as long as you figured it out before you made it which it sounds like you did, it’s all good :) Glad it was a hit and that you’ll make it again!

  28. Hello! I’ve been a ‘baking fool’ (lol)  these past 2 days making 6 batches of this cream cheese – filled pumpkin bread for our friends.  I must say it took a lot of my time in making this. The pumpkin mixture is a little hard to work with as it wants to stick to the utensils when trying to smooth the layers and push it to the corners. The top layer was the hardest as it was almost impossible to spread the pumpkin mixture without disturbing the cream cheese.  As of a half hour ago my husband and I finally was able to taste this bread ourselves.  The final outcome: although the bread does taste good, the cream cheese just wasn’t what I had hoped for.  Reason is, 1) not enough of it as the ribbon looked to be too thin, and 2) cream cheese taste wasn’t strong enough as the pumpkin over powered it too much. Cream cheese is my favorite so that’s the reason for trying this recipe as the combination sounded great.  I’m just wondering what I can do different that would improve the cream cheese?

    • I haven’t made the bread in any other way than indicated. You could try doubling the cream cheese amount and seeing how that goes…but since I haven’t tried it, I can’t comment on baking time or final result. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  29. I just made this lovely pumpkin bread~ followed the recipe exactly~ except I wanted more cream cheese filling. I doubled all the ingredients for the cream cheese layer except only used 1 egg. It came out beautifully!!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Great idea on the cream cheese layer and keeping it to 1 egg was a smart move so it didn’t taste too ‘eggy’.

  30. Had a friend coming over and wanted to have a yummy baked bread ready.  Used my food processer for most steps except adding the flour mixture.  In my attempt to hurry, I forgot to add the egg to the cream cheese filling. Needless to say, it came out perfect! Looks just like your photo! Also threw in pecans, cuz who doesn’t like those in pumpkin bread! And I had just the soft spread cream cheese so I used that. Thank you for a delicious and easy clean up recipe!

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